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How To Meet Your Neighbors + Block Party Ideas
Home buyers appreciate great neighbors and healthy communities. Fifty-one percent of home buyers between the ages of 18-43 say connected communities are more important than ever. Community spaces, local organizations, and block party activities are great ways to meet your neighbors.
The quality of your new neighborhood is also a major factor in home-buying. Sixty-three percent of home buyers in 2020 said that neighborhood quality is their primary factor when choosing a neighborhood — higher than affordability, location, and amenities. Be sure to ask about the local neighborhood at the open house before you buy and move.
Loving where you live is important when you’re planning to buy a home to live in. A healthy community can improve your quality of life, and knowing your neighbors provides a sense of safety and social wellness.
Reach out and introduce yourself if you’re new to the area. Even if you’ve lived in the community for a while, a helping hand and friendly smile are always welcome. Check out these ways to get to know your neighbors and make your community a better place.
1. Host a Housewarming Party
Greet your neighbors and invite them over for a housewarming party to settle into your new house. You can keep it simple with a house tour and refreshments, or plan a bash with party games and a theme.
Housewarming parties are a great way to meet your neighbors and allow them to develop relationships with each other, too. Invite as many people from the neighborhood as you feel comfortable hosting and enjoy.
2. Share a Sweet Treat
Bake a treat to say hello and make a great first impression. Your favorite cookie recipe will do, though keep in mind your neighbors may have food allergies. You can bake a variety of goodies or have a backup gift, like a potted succulent, just in case.
When you’re ready to deliver your treats, print out these door hangers to introduce yourself and share your contact information in case anyone needs a favor.
3. Enjoy a Dinner Party
Dinner parties allow everyone to get to know each other in a casual setting. Customize your dinner plans to your preference or lifestyle. If you don’t want to cook all weekend, consider a potluck or cookout and invite your neighbors to contribute their favorite recipes. Just be sure all dishes are labeled with allergens so everyone can enjoy them safely.
4. Ask For a Favor and Do a Good Deed
Acts of kindness go a long way in building relationships and a happy community. Offer your leaf blower next time you see your neighbor raking or bring their trash cans back up from the street at the end of pickup day.
Your neighbors are sure to return the favor if you give them the chance. Ask them to pick up your mail when you’re out of town or keep an eye out for a package delivery while you’re at work. Helping each other out will build your community’s relationships and overall well-being.
5. Join a Book Club
Connect with other readers and get to know your neighbors with a book club. Bonding over shared interests is a quick way to make new friends. Book discussions will also help you engage deeper with your hobby.
If your neighborhood doesn’t already have a book club, see who’s interested in joining. You can take turns selecting books and hosting discussions, or agree to meet at your favorite neighborhood cafe.
6. Have a Doggie Playdate
Dogs are part of the community just as they are part of our families. Host a playdate so the neighborhood dogs can make new furry friends, too.
Plan a time to meet at your local dog park or throw a private “pawty” in a fenced yard. You can also organize a weekly dog walk or hike together to stay in touch and get your steps in.
Introduce yourself and your pet to the neighborhood with this printable greeting card. Share a photo of your pet and their favorite things with your neighbors, and include your contact information to plan a pawesome playdate.
7. Enjoy Your Porch
If parties aren’t for you, a simple “hello” from your porch is an easy way to greet your neighbors and keep in touch. When the weather’s nice, enjoy a book outside or just relax in the sunshine. Invite neighbors to chat with a friendly wave and build relationships over time while keeping your community social.
8. Join Your HOA
Your homeowners association (HOA) is run by neighborhood volunteers, so it’s a convenient way to give back and meet your neighbors. Attend HOA meetings and consider joining the board. You can help plan local events, fundraise and manage dues, or provide your opinions to better the community.
9. Volunteer in the Community
There are plenty of ways to volunteer in your community and engage with your neighbors. Many neighborhoods have cleanup crews, community gardens, sports teams, and other casual meetups you can join. You can also volunteer for city organizations, like the local animal shelter, if your neighborhood opportunities are limited.
10. Host a Block Party
A block party is the ultimate way to celebrate with your neighbors and greet everyone at once. Your HOA may have annual block parties planned, but if not, you can organize the party with neighborhood volunteers. Check out these block party ideas to find one that works for you and your neighborhood.
Plan a pool party
Pool parties are a summer favorite for a reason. Ask your community pool about hosting a private neighborhood party. That way you can have plenty of space, locker rooms, lifeguards, and snacks readily available.
You can also host a pool party in your own private pool if you have one. Invite your neighbors to help supply snacks and chairs, and be sure you have plenty of sunscreen for a day of fun in the sun.
Play party games
Party game classics bring out the kid in everyone and are affordable entertainment options for your block party. Limbo, relay races, and tag games require little equipment and everyone knows how to play.
Party games are fun to play individually or as a team. Consider planning a party game tournament for teams to compete, with additional game stations for families to enjoy when they’re not competing.
Print out this tournament bundle to welcome your neighbors to the games and label when and where competitions will start. You can also hand out competitor badges as name tags so it’s easy to strike up a conversation with someone new.
Get together for movie night
A projector, blank wall, and friends are all you need to enjoy movie night. Choose a few family-friendly movies and poll your neighbors to choose which to feature.
If you don’t have a blank wall, hang a white sheet against a wall or from trees to create your screen. You may also be able to borrow movies and a projector from your local library so you don’t have to invest in any equipment yourself.
Show off your greatest talents
Organize a talent show for your neighbors to celebrate their skills. Keep it a casual performance, or arrange for performers to compete by age groups.
You’ll need a location, an emcee, and some audio equipment at least. See what your community HOA has available or is willing to fund, and you can rent everything else from a local music store.
Organize a scavenger hunt
A scavenger hunt is a fun and cost-effective block party idea that’s especially popular with kids. Create a scavenger hunt list with items you’d find in your neighborhood, like a four-leaf clover or pinecone. You can prepare goodie bags as gifts for everyone who participates.
Level up the fun by hiding clues for neighbors to solve until they find a hidden treasure. This is more fun for older kids and adults to participate in. Plan to have enough prizes for everyone or let your neighbors know it’s a race to first place.
Invite a fire truck to visit
Schedule a fire truck visit with your local fire department. Kids will love to explore the truck and learn from firefighters, while the adults learn valuable fire safety lessons. The fire department may also bring goodies like plastic fire hats or badge stickers, or you could prepare favors and treats for the kids yourself.
Celebrate the season
Block parties are great ways to celebrate the season or upcoming holidays as a community. Consider what holidays your neighbors would enjoy celebrating and plan ahead for the festivities.
Neighborhood egg hunts are great for Easter, while an art bazaar with hot cocoa stands can help everyone get their holiday shopping done early. Whatever you choose to celebrate, prepare themed games and treats for everyone to enjoy.
Get creative with sidewalk chalk
Decorate your whole neighborhood with a sidewalk chalk art show. Invite families to color the sidewalks, streets, and driveways however they like. Encourage neighbors to tour the art show and display information about their own art, like their piece’s title, inspiration, and artist name, to encourage conversation and get to know your neighbors.
Ride in a bike parade
Show off your wheels and get creative with a bike parade. Encourage your neighbors to decorate their bikes with streamers, posters, glitter, and whatever else they like! They may even use a wagon to create their own mini float.
Enjoy riding together and greeting your other neighbors. Just communicate your parade route with the community and city in advance so everything’s safe and legal.
Organize a 5K
Get active and organize a 5K for your neighborhood. You can keep it simple with an organized race, or prepare as a community with weekly walks or runs around the neighborhood.
Virtual races are a popular alternative for runners to participate without the pressure of a full 5K in one day. Have your neighbors track their runs over a few weeks and celebrate everyone’s accomplishments with an after-party.
Host a community yard sale
Find a new home for all of your unwanted items and pick up some new goods for yourself with a community yard sale. Rehoming items can keep your neighborhood sustainable and allows you to mingle with your neighbors.
Start a bonfire
Bonfires are the perfect casual get-together. Have your neighbors over to chat around the fire, enjoy food and drinks, and maybe even break out a campfire song. You can pull out group party games and start a collaborative playlist to keep everyone entertained. You may also consider finding campfire stories to tell, especially if your bonfire is family-friendly!
Have a grill-off
Invite your neighborhood cookout enthusiasts to a competitive grill-off. You can arrange prizes for the top cooks — of course, the title of “best neighborhood grill chef” is the real prize.
You’ll need judges, participants, and grills to get started. Parks are a great place to cook and eat together. Many have grills built-in, too. Just be sure there are no fire or grill restrictions in the park and invite participants to bring their own grill of choice.
How To Plan a Block Party
Once you decide to have a block party, there are a few key steps that will help you plan the event. Your first step is to get other neighbors excited about the party and willing to help out. Then you can plan the party together.
- Step 1: Get a committee of volunteers willing to help you plan.
- Step 2: Pick your event date, ideally a few months in advance.
- Step 3: Get permits from your city and HOA, especially if you’re hosting the party in the street or a community area.
- Step 4: Plan the party’s theme, entertainment, location, and refreshment details.
- Step 5: Invite your neighbors and promote the party regularly to ensure a good turnout.
- Step 6: Assign volunteers to run the party day-of so everyone has a role.
- Step 7: Prepare to clean up the event, including putting away tables and chairs, taking decorations down, and picking up trash.
Make sure your party meets all local regulations and is properly cleaned up afterward so everyone can get excited about the next event your community throws.
A happy and healthy neighborhood starts with conversation and collaboration. If you just moved to a new state or you want to love where you live more, brainstorm how to get to know your neighbors better and support your community.
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